Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rein contact at the trot. Engagement and more balance with the Diamond e...

"Is your horse in balance? It's time to practice with the 'Diamond pattern.'Can you keep your horse connected from your leg to the rein at the trot?"

The Diamond Pattern is a great way to teach your horse (and yourself...) what a horse feels like as they are "sitting down" more or "engaging" This is a blast from the past and was when we were first asking Beau to stay in a different balance. To do this, Susan focused on keeping an even feel on both reins as she asked Beau to step up more from behind with her seat and legs as she rides the Diamond pattern. As a result you will see that Beau began to use his haunches differently.
Are you ready to try the Diamond pattern with your horse?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Keeping a horse's back up at the trot. On the aids. Retraining a Schoolmaster

"Sometimes... we all wonder if we will ever get to the next level of connection and balance with our horses. This is normal for many riders. At the time of this filming, Darrien was finally relaxing more (and breathing) we were focusing more on keeping him balanced and connected with his back up and a long neck. Now you can watch what Susan was doing with him during this part of the training process"

It's true. it had taken us almost two years to get Darrien to where he was at the time of this filming. A year ago he was still rooting on the reins (pulling Susan out of the saddle) rearing and running. As you can imagine... he did have some serious behavioral/training issues. You have also seen the process that Susan has been using to retrain him (Darrien is 18 years old) That year, we have switched back to a snaffle bit. Darrien is an FEI dressage horse and they normally wear a double bridle. Little by little he is getting more responsive and at times, even seems to be enjoying himself. smile emoticon
Are you in the process of re training or simply training your horse to be more "on the aids?"  Did you imagine it would take as long as it does? More importantly... how do you feel when your horse started to understand what you wanted? Did you feel your horse trying to connect with you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Can you keep a light rein in the trot canter transitions? Going back to...

"Have you noticed that your hand "bumps" your horse in the mouth when you are working on the canter?  What about the canter trot transitions?"

In this session Trudy focuses on keeping an even feel and connection with the reins at the canter..  Many riders start tightening their reins at the canter, especially in the transition up and down from it. Now you can watch as Trudy discovers how to use her legs and seat to keep Melody on her aids and soft on the reins.

Have you ever thought about how you are using your reins for the canter? What did you learn from this video?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On the bit at the walk. Contact. Do your reins feel alive? S4 dressage

"Oh, what fun it is to feel your horse seeking the contact of your reins!. How do you know when your horses is seeking the contact from your hands? You can feel it in the reins. Now you can watch as Beau begins to understand that concept and allows Susan to feel the life energy in the rein contact.

Contact comes in many layers as a horse and rider become more connected and aware of each other. At first a horse needs to be comfortable as we position his head and supple their jaw or poll to keep them loose. Next, we start positioning the horses head where we want it. For some, there will be a magical moment when the reins become more than a tool, they take on a feel that I like to call, "coming alive". This is when the horse and rider are communicating. The horse is in front of the riders aids, in front of the aids, or whatever you might call it. Now you can watch what happens as Susan feels Beau becoming alive through the reins. This was a very exciting session for all of us. 

Can you see what is happening? The next time you are riding ask yourself if your reins are "alive" yet. It's OK if they are not. As those who have been following the progress of Beau know, it can take a few years to get a horse to respond that way. Good things take time.